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Drug Suspect Shot By Police After Struggle In West Philadelphia

By Steve Beck, Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A suspect was shot by police after investigators say he tried to grab an officer’s gun during a struggle in Philadelphia early Thursday morning.

According to police, the incident began at about 12:30 a.m. in the 600 block of N. 52nd Street in West Philadelphia.

Authorities say they spotted the suspect completing a drug deal and the suspect then took off on foot.

Officers with the 19th Police District chased the suspect for several blocks before they eventually caught up with him in the 600 block of N. Creighton Street.

“The suspect began to punch and kick an officer and at this time, the suspect then grabbed the handgun from one of the officers and started to pull the gun from the officer’s holster,” Chief Inspector Scott Small explained.

Small said a back-up officer was forced to fire his gun one time, striking the suspect in his left torso.

The 23-year-old suspect was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is listed in critical condition.

“Eight packets of what appears to be crack cocaine were confiscated from the suspect. The suspect was also wanted on three active warrants,” Small said.

The officer who was assaulted was treated for minor injuries to his face.

“We have a violent city. You guys report on homicides all the time. Who do you think goes after the very people that are doing the shootings and the homicides and the robberies? Police. So it stands to reason we encounter some very dangerous people and people need to keep all of this in perspective,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

Ramsey said the Internal Affairs Department is handling the investigation.

“We try to piece this together best we can, between the investigators and internal affairs, as well as the divisional detectives, what actually took place and then decisions are made as to whether or not this was in police not within policy, the district attorney reviews all of their shootings.”

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